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Rotorua Community Hospice Stories

Stories of the individuals who have touched our lives.

This is Tom & Avis’ story

Having only moved to Rotorua two years ago from a lifestyle block, the Rotorua Hospice team has become Tom and Avis’ family.

Having only moved to Rotorua two years ago from a lifestyle block, the Rotorua Hospice team has become Tom and Avis’ family. “Hospice is our communication, our neighbour, our family” Avis comments as they reflect on the support Hospice has provided.

Tom was diagnosed with prostrate cancer initially and went into remission for around a year. In 2012, he was diagnosed again, this time with multiple myloma cancer. Despite going into remission once more, the cancer has come back and is terminal. He has been with Rotorua Hospice for around 12 months.

His wife Avis helps to care for him at their home in Rotorua. “I feel as if we’re not on our own…I struggle to put it into words. I only know how it feels…. We couldn’t do it without them (Rotorua Hospice)”.

“It’s a great thing for patients and their family. It’s not just the patients. It’s the whole family they involve”. Tom chips in “Even you ay Mackie” looking at Mack, one of two family dogs sitting at their feet.

Avis tells us that despite their doctor being based in Katikati, the Rotorua Hospice nurses are able to make recommendations to the doctor about medications that might help with pain or nausea for Tom. The subscription is ready to be picked up the next day at the Redwoods Centre. Whilst this may seem a small action to some, it makes the greatest difference to this couple.

“You (Hospice) ring every Monday to check up and see how we’re doing… it’s a more personal communication…it’s the personal touch”.

Tom and Avis chose the beautiful image of the kowhai to represent themselves – its one from their back garden. Coincidentally and unbeknownst to them at the time, it also happens to be the national symbol for Hospice. Historically, the kowhai flower and bark was used in traditional Māori medicine.

More stories from Rotorua Community Hospice

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This is Tom & Avis’ story

Having only moved to Rotorua two years ago from a lifestyle block, the Rotorua Hospice team has become Tom and Avis’ family.

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This is Monica’s story

It’s not just relatives she is classing as family; it is the team at Rotorua Hospice.

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This is Brendan’s story

“Hospice didn’t come into our lives as the end of the road but rather as another tool to provide Dad and all of the family with the support to help fight his cancer.”

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This is Martine’s story

I really benefit from the coffee mornings. We don’t talk about our cancer or our illness – although we did at the start – we talk about everything. I really enjoy it.

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This is Barbara’s story

Don’t ever be frightened to ring Hospice and get support. They are wonderful. It’s not necessarily the end – they can help. The thing is when you’re a patient or a friend of a patient you don’t know how to deal with it. They do. That’s why I would do anything for Hospice.

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This is Frances’ story

Diagnosed with lung cancer nine years ago and having been with Rotorua Hospice for 18 months, Frances epitomises the hospice way of living every moment in whatever way is important to you.

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This is Kelly’s story

Without Hospice, we wouldn’t have been able to have it the way it was. Being at home was so important to Mum and to Tony and I. Hospice is the only thing that allowed that.

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This is Michael’s story

Michael remained incredibly positive throughout his journey. When the cancer returned Michael said, “Don’t worry mum, I’ve already had a good life”. Those words from a 19 year old were startling and inspirational.

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This is Dexter the Dog’s story

Dexter the dog lives a few hundred metres away from Ferguson Home – a retirement community in Rotorua.

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This is Denise & Tahae’s story

In the words of their daughter, Sherry Tait… Words will never do our gratitude justice. Eight months ago my life changed, we prepared to lose both of our parents.

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This is Martine’s story

I really benefit from the coffee mornings. We don’t talk about our cancer or our illness – although we did at the start – we talk about everything. I really enjoy it.

Read More

Rotorua Community Hospice Stories

Stories of the individuals who have touched our lives.